Submicrometre geometrically encoded fluorescent barcodes self-assembled from DNA

1] Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [2] Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA [3] Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Nature Chemistry (Impact Factor: 25.33). 10/2012; 4(10):832-839. DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1451


The identification and differentiation of a large number of distinct
molecular species with high temporal and spatial resolution is a major
challenge in biomedical science. Fluorescence microscopy is a powerful
tool, but its multiplexing ability is limited by the number of
spectrally distinguishable fluorophores. Here, we used
(deoxy)ribonucleic acid (DNA)-origami technology to construct
submicrometre nanorods that act as fluorescent barcodes. We demonstrate
that spatial control over the positioning of fluorophores on the surface
of a stiff DNA nanorod can produce 216 distinct barcodes that can be
decoded unambiguously using epifluorescence or total internal reflection
fluorescence microscopy. Barcodes with higher spatial information
density were demonstrated via the construction of super-resolution
barcodes with features spaced by ˜40 nm. One species of the
barcodes was used to tag yeast surface receptors, which suggests their
potential applications as in situ imaging probes for diverse
biomolecular and cellular entities in their native environments.

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